Is Carrot a Fruit or Vegetable or Root? – Explained

Carrots are a healthy thing to eat and have a lot of nutrients, but what it is. Is it a vegetable or a fruit? Some say it’s a fruit because it has a sweet taste but others say it’s a vegetable. 

Carrot is a vegetable. Carrot is a vegetable because it grows underground without the help of an ovary or from the flower of the plant and does not have any seeds in it which are all the specifications of a fruit. Carrot is more specifically a root vegetable as it grows underground with the roots just like a potato.

Let’s discuss in detail why carrot is specified as a vegetable and not a fruit and what are the benefits of eating carrots.

What is a fruit?

Fruit is a product of the ripened ovary from the plant. The fruit is a fleshy or pulpy part that can be used to eat which has a sweet or sour taste. The fruit can have one or more than one seed. The main purpose of the fruit is to protect the seeds from dissemination.

Botanically a fruit is a matured ovary that is produced by the flower. The seeds are developed due to the fertilization but the seeds can be developed without the fertilization with the help of another process called parthenocarpy. An example of this process is bananas which have edible seeds in them, without the help of fertilization.

Fruits are a very good source of vitamins, fiber, and other antioxidants which are very good for a human diet. Fruits can also be used as other dietary products like jams or pie.

What is a vegetable?

A vegetable is an edible part of the plant which can be consumed by humans as well as animals. The vegetables can be any part of the plant such as leaves, stems, roots, tubers, bulbs, and flowers.

Vegetables can be eaten as raw food or can be eaten cooked mixed up with other vegetables as well. Vegetables are low in fat and carbohydrates, but high in minerals, vitamins and other essential nutrients, and dietary fiber.

Difference between fruit and vegetable

The main difference between a fruit and a vegetable is that fruit is produced by a ripened ovary from the flower blooming. On the other hand, vegetables can be any other part of the plant other than the flower. If the part is growing from the flower it is a fruit but if it is not growing from the flower it is a vegetable.

Fruits also taste sweet or that and vegetables are bland in taste and usually eaten as cooked with spices to make them taste good.

Fruits also contain seeds that are produced with the help of fertilization but vegetables do not contain any seeds in them. Some examples of fruits are apple, tomato, banana and some examples of vegetables are cabbage, onion or potato.

What is a carrot?

The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) is a vegetable or precisely said to be a root vegetable which means the main part of the plant is grown under the ground. The carrots are usually grown as orange but are also found in purple, black, red, white, and yellow. All of these different colored carrots are domesticated forms of wild carrots.

The carrot is a biennial plant. The carrot comes under the family of Apiaceae of the Umbelliferae family. First, the plant develops leaves and after that, it develops taproots. Some fast-growing species can develop mature taproots in three months after sowing the seed, while slow-maturing species can take a longer duration up to 4 months.

The carrot plant is said to have originated from Persia and was usually grown for its leaves and seeds. But today carrot is grown for its taproot, which is edible. The taproot contains high amounts of alpha and beta-carotene and is a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B6.

The world production of carrots is around 40 to 50 million tonnes with half of the plant being grown in China. Carrots are usually grown for eating in salad and dishes and used in many regional cuisines.

Carrot scientific name

The scientific name of the carrot plant is Daucus carota subsp. Sativus but is commonly known as carrot all over the world. The word carrot was first recorded in English circa and was borrowed from middle french carotte. Various languages still use the word for root as well as for carrot, E.g. In dutch carrots are called the wortels.

Carrot family

The carrot comes from the family of Apiaceae or Umbelliferae which are mostly aromatic flowering plants which are named after the types of genus Apium. The carrot is a root vegetable that is used for salads as well as for other culinary dishes.

Is carrot a fruit?

No, a carrot is not a fruit as it doesn’t grow from a ripened ovary or a flower and also doesn’t contain any seed which is all the specifications of a fruit. The carrot is a vegetable because it grows underground with the roots and is specified as a root vegetable.

Is carrot a vegetable?

Yes, a carrot is a vegetable as it is any other part of the plant which doesn’t grow from the flower of the plant. A vegetable is part of the plant like a stem, leaves, or root and a carrot is a tuber root of the plant which is edible. This makes the carrot a vegetable.

Is carrot a root?

Yes, carrot is a root of the plant as it grows underground, but it is edible which makes it a vegetable or more specifically a root vegetable.

Health benefits of carrot

Carrots are usually used for salads as it is very nutritious and tasty. Carrots are particularly a very good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K and other antioxidants. Carrots also have other health benefits. The most commonly known health benefits of carrots are that it improves eye health and helps lower cholesterol levels.

How to grow carrots in your home

Carrots are very easy to grow plants in your home garden. The carrots are grown from seeds and are best grown in cool weather temperatures and the best time to plant carrots is in fall or autumn. You can also plant carrots in early spring two weeks before the last frost.

Carrots can grow in small gardens or raised beds and need loose soil to grow healthy and big. Carrot plants can tolerate some shade but love to grow in full sunlight.

Step 1 Prepare the soil

The first step to growing healthy carrots in your garden is to prepare healthy soil for it.

You can prepare the soil in two ways, the first way is to use compost for the soil preparation which will provide all the essential nutrients for the carrots to grow or you can add fertilizer to the soil at intervals soil to give the nutrients to the plant.

The soil needs to be loose and aerated so that the carrots don’t face any resistance from the soil. If the soil is compacted or tight then the taproot will grow very small.

Clear the soil from all the trash, rocks, or any large pieces which can block the roots to grow. Soil should be sandy and fine and well-drained to help the carrots to grow below the soil. If you find that the soil is compacted or very hard then tilt or aerate the soil to make it lose and soft.

If you are using the fertilizer to provide nutrients to the soil then use a balanced fertilizer and mix the fertilizer well into the soil to make sure it gets deep into the soil.

Step 2  Planting the seeds

The carrots are grown from seeds, so to grow carrots first you need to sow seed. The proper way to plant carrot seeds is to sow them in rows with 12 to 18 inches of difference between each row.

The seeds of the carrot plant are very small, so you need to take care of how you plant them as it is very easy to put a lot of seeds in one place. 

Step 3 – Taking care of the plant

After planting the carrots, you need to take care of the surroundings of the garden and prevent any weed growth. Weed blocks the growth of the carrot plant as well as takes nutrients away from the plant making the carrot poor and bland in taste. 

Keep up with the watering schedule but don’t overwater the plant as the temperature is cooler and overwatering can promote fungus in the garden.

Step 4 – Harvesting the carrot

Carrot plants don’t stop growing after the plantation and can be allowed to stay in the soil until winter. Carrots can be harvested after they have grown up to finger size. 

To check if the carrots are matured or they still need some time, gently remove the soil by hand from the top of the roots. You can see the size of the carrot. 

To harvest the carrot, gently shake the plant by grabbing the stem and pull up the roots from the soil. 

Hope you find the answer you were looking for.